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Raiders cannot stop losing run

07:37 02 November 2014

The ice hockey season is in full swing at Lee Valley

The ice hockey season is in full swing at Lee Valley

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National League: London Raiders 4 Solent 5

London Raiders let a two-goal lead slip on their way to a seventh successive defeat in National League and Cup action last night.

They led 4-2 as the second period drew to a close, but conceded just before the break and Solent took that momentum into the final period to score twice more and claim the points.

Andrew Magee put the visitors ahead inside two minutes, but Raiders were back on terms soon after as captain AJ Smith and Stephen Deacon combined on a powerplay to set up Jakub Klima for a fine finish.

The home side’s joy was shortlived, though, as Alex Murray restored Solent’s lead with a soft goal less than two minutes later.

Bailey Wootton, Deacon and Smith were all binned on boarding, roughing and misconduct calls, along with Solent’s Ralfs Circenis, but Raiders drew level for a second time when Vaclav Drabek netted an unassisted goal at the 10-minute mark.

And there was better news soon after as Wootton claimed his first goal for the club and Josh Condren claimed his first point as a Raider with an assist, to put the hosts ahead for the first time.

More penalties followed before the break, with Ross Wilkinson earning a roughing double minor for Raiders after clashing with Circenis, and Tom Davis was sent to the penalty box early in the middle period, but Solent could not capitalise on their powerplays.

Jacob Ranson was called for hooking just past the game’s midway point, but Raiders moved 4-2 up soon after returning to full strength as Klima set up Marshall to score.

Solent hit back just before the break through Circenis to set up a tense final period, however, and were back on terms within four minutes of the restart through Joshua Abbott.

Sensing their chance, the visitors claimed the decisive goal through Alex Murray with 10 minutes left and their celebrations told their own story at the end of the match.

Raiders, who were without senior defenceman Phil Manny for the game, saw player-coach Danny Marshall earned a 10-minute misconduct penalty at the buzzer, while Smith received a game misconduct after his second 10-minute penalty of the match.

And they hit the road next weekend when they visit Cardiff and Bracknell for two testing fixtures.

Scorers, Raiders: Klima* 1+1 Marshall 1 Wootton 1 Drabek* 1 Condren 0+1 Smith 0+1 Deacon 0+1.

Devils: A Murray 2+1 Magee* 1 Circenis* 1 Abbott 1 M Murray 0+1 Campbell 0+1.

Shots faced: Brabon (Raiders) 42 Cole (Devils) 36.

Penalty minutes: Raiders 62 Devils 14.

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